Well, I've been beaten up for being a Michael Watlrip fan and especially the fact that MWR hasn't been doing that well. I have been defending by saying that this is a new team and you can't expect a new team to come out of the box and compete, it doesn't happen. But now it looks like MWR is finally trying to turn that corner to respectability.
I say this because when you look at the Runs David Ruetimann has made the past 5 races and then Mikey's top 10 last week, well there for a fan you can see light at the end of the tunnel. It started when MWR finally started to make better, lighter chassis. It took them awhile to pick upon the material other teams were using, and through Mikeys admission, this was learned with his relationship with JGR this spring.
Now people are saying Michael doesn't have a chance because UPS just left the organization for Roush and the 6 car. Well, while that hurt, MWR has stated they have sponsorship for the car David Ruetimann will drive next season, the 00. (the 44 will go back to Petty Enterprise it looks like). And MWR is on the brink of signing a sponsor for the Car Michael McDowell will drive, (Guessing it will be the 66).
Also, all you have to do is look at who Michael is bringing into the shop and you can understand that this team is in it for the long haul. Michael just signed Steve Hallan, an Engineer who is the current Head of Mclaren's Racing Operations. Steve has worked as lead engineer and won F-1 Championships, for Ayren Senna, Nigel Mansell and Mika Hakkinen. A pretty good resume if you ask me.
I know I say this all the time but don't be surprised if Mikey wins at 'Dega this year and starts to consistently starts to run top 20's. I think David and his team has now shown they can run top 20 week to week and the 00 car with McDowell, is still fighting for that 35th spot, (now 36th) but they are turning things around too. I look for a good weekend from the entire team at Kansas.
MWR has made great strides this year compared to last year, IMO. And I think the strides will be even greater next season. MWR could be a contender next season believe it or not.